Georgia Ranked #4 Among 48 European Countries Based on Food and Drink.
Georgia sits in the middle of the ancient spice route between Europe and the Middle East and Asia, so the country’s dishes are imbued with an incredibly rich and unique use of herbs & spices, like cilantro and dried marigold, that are used in combinations not seen in the other individual regions and are layered for bold, but balanced dishes. And the pinch-hitter of those dishes is khachapuri, a boat-shaped pastry filled with a glorious amount of melted cheese and a raw egg. It’s so popular that the country’s trying to trademark it so places like Panera don’t steal it when they realize HOW MUCH BETTER THE BREAD BOWL CAN BE.
Also in the lineup: khinkali, the twisted dumpling knots that’re filled with pork, beef, or lamb and laden with all those spices, plus onions; kuchmachi, which is one of those dishes where you should not ask what’s in it (hearts, gizzards, and the like) and just savor the deep flavor of pork, fried garlic and onions, coriander, and bright pomegranate seeds; or chahohbili, a peppery, sweet chicken stew. Cheese is abundant (obviously, they put it in bread boats), and tkemali, a plum sauce, accompanies a slew of meat dishes and is, of course, laden with coriander and cumin and peppery bites.
Original list of 48 European countries ranked by food/drink in descending order Georgia came as #4, preceding just with Spain, France and Italy.
If you are interested with trying authentic Georgian cooking, see the book Sunpra. “Sunpra’ stands for family and friends and neighbors coming together to celebrate life, share stories, loughs and long toasts, often accompanies with guitar and songs which are called “supruli” from word “supra.” Literal translation of word “supra” is table cloth. Recipes are in grams and centigrade, but its not hard to convert. Or even just try, no precision is required. Cooking always comes from heart.
Here is another interesting book – The Georgian Feast. This book is written by American Autor who lived in Georgia. I like this book though I found some recipes to be somewhat altered for western taste.
Here is sample of Georgian “supruli” songs. Songs which make one drunk with love and longings. Sentimental, yet heart breaking tribute to love, love for mother-land, women, loss, fall, friendship, forgiveness – you name it!
And below is tutorial for “xachapuri”
If interested experiencing Georgia from view point of “local” eye, call or email me. It is said it will be a direct flight soon form JFK to Tbilisi starting this fall.